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Eliza Dushku accuses True Lies stunt coordinator of sexually abusing her when she was 12

True Lies director James Cameron responds to Dushku’s account as well.

Atomic Age Cinema Fest, The Man Who Saved The World premiere
Actress Eliza Dushku arrives at a film premiere in 2016.
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

Actress Eliza Dushku, best known for playing Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has accused Hollywood stunt coordinator Joel Kramer of sexually assaulting her when she was 12 and working with him on the 1995 film True Lies. Kramer was 36 at the time.

“I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever,” Dushku wrote in a Facebook post. “At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.”

Dushku says that Kramer had nicknamed her “Jailbait” and jokingly called her by that name on set, in front of other people. She recalled an incident where she says Kramer got her alone in a hotel room after saying he’d take her for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool: “I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me,” she writes. She also says that after their encounter, she was injured on the True Lies set, breaking two ribs in a stunt Kramer coordinated. Read the full Facebook post for her complete story, but be warned that it describes her experience in complete detail.

Reached for comment by Vanity Fair, Kramer denied that any such incident took place, though he acknowledged that he and other crew members had taken Dushku swimming and out for sushi.

At the 2018 Television Critics Association winter press tour, where True Lies director James Cameron appeared on a panel promoting his upcoming AMC documentary series AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Cameron said he had just been made aware of Dushku’s accusations against Kramer shortly before the panel, and that he had not heard of them on the set of the movie.

Cameron commended Dushku for coming forward, then went on to say that he didn’t think the #MeToo movement and the wave of sexual misconduct allegations that have been labeled by many as the “reckoning” is solely a reckoning for show business. “This is not a reckoning for Hollywood. This is not a reckoning for America. This is a reckoning for the human race. This shit’s been going on since day one,” he said.

He also said that it will be imperative to establish a system for those abused within the entertainment industry to speak out: “It’s important for all industries and certainly Hollywood to create a safe avenue for speaking up, and anybody who might be a predator or an abuser knows that that system is there, and that there’s no shame around [reporting abuse], and there will be consequences.”

He concluded: “Directors are historically pretty oblivious to the interpersonal things on their set, because they’re so focused. I’m one of the worst offenders in that. ... Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy.”

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